Ideas from 'Physics' by Aristotle [337 BCE], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Physics' by Aristotle (ed/tr Waterfield,Robin) [OUP 1996,0-19-282310-8]].

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2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 4. Aims of Reason
Reason grasps generalities, while the senses grasp particulars
4. Formal Logic / G. Formal Mereology / 1. Mereology
Are a part and whole one or many? Either way, what is the cause?
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / a. The Infinite
Without infinity time has limits, magnitudes are indivisible, and numbers come to an end
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 4. The Infinite / k. Infinite divisibility
A continuous line cannot be composed of indivisible points
6. Mathematics / A. Nature of Mathematics / 5. Geometry
Geometry studies naturally occurring lines, but not as they occur in nature
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 4. Mathematical Empiricism / a. Mathematical empiricism
Ten sheep and ten dogs are the same numerically, but it is not the same ten
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 6. Abstract Existence
The incommensurability of the diagonal always exists, and so it is not in time
7. Existence / B. Change in Existence / 1. Nature of Change
Change is the implied actuality of that which exists potentially
7. Existence / C. Structure of Existence / 1. Grounding / c. Grounding and explanation
Aristotle's formal and material 'becauses' [aitiai] arguably involve grounding
8. Modes of Existence / A. Relations / 1. Nature of Relations
The separation from here to there is not the same as the separation from there to here
8. Modes of Existence / B. Properties / 8. Properties as Modes
The features of a thing (whether quality or quantity) are inseparable from their subjects
8. Modes of Existence / C. Powers and Dispositions / 1. Powers
Heavy and light are defined by their tendency to move down or up
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 6. Platonic Forms / a. Platonic Forms
Plato's Forms are said to have no location in space
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 1. Unifying an Object / a. Intrinsic unification
Natural objects include animals and their parts, plants, and the simple elements
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 2. Substance / a. Substance
Substance is not predicated of anything - but it still has something underlying it, that originates it
We only infer underlying natures by analogy, observing bronze of a statue, or wood of a bed
9. Objects / B. Unity of Objects / 3. Unity Problems / c. Statue and clay
A nature is related to a substance as shapeless matter is to something which has a shape
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / a. Hylomorphism
Form, not matter, is a thing's nature, because it is actual, rather than potential
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal
A thing's form and purpose are often the same, and form can be the initiator of change too
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / d. Form as unifier
Unity of the form is just unity of the definition
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 3. Matter of an Object
In feature-generation the matter (such as bronze) endures, but in generation it doesn't
9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 8. Parts of Objects / c. Wholes from parts
There is no whole except for the parts
We first sense whole entities, and then move to particular parts of it
9. Objects / D. Essence of Objects / 8. Essence as Explanatory
The four explanations are the main aspects of a thing's nature
A thing's nature is what causes its changes and stability
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 2. Objects that Change
Coming to be is by shape-change, addition, subtraction, composition or alteration
Natural things are their own source of stability through change
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 6. Successive Things
A day, or the games, has one thing after another, actually and potentially occurring
9. Objects / E. Objects over Time / 10. Beginning of an Object
Coming-to-be may be from nothing in a qualified way, as arising from an absence
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 4. Potentiality
Matter is potentiality
10. Modality / B. Possibility / 7. Chance
Maybe there is no pure chance; a man's choices cause his chance meetings
Intrinsic cause is prior to coincidence, so nature and intelligence are primary causes, chance secondary
Chance is a coincidental cause among events involving purpose and choice
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 1. Justification / b. Need for justification
To know something we need understanding, which is grasp of the primary cause
14. Science / D. Explanation / 1. Explanation / b. Aims of explanation
We know a thing if we grasp its first causes, principles and basic elements
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / a. Types of explanation
Four Explanations: the essence and form; the matter; the source; and the end
Science refers the question Why? to four causes/explanations: matter, form, source, purpose
Aristotle's four 'causes' are four items which figure in basic explanations of nature
There are as many causes/explanations as there are different types of why-question
14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / d. Lawlike explanations
Chance is inexplicable, because we can only explain what happens always or usually
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 2. Abstracta by Selection
You can't abstract natural properties to make Forms - objects and attributes are defined together
18. Thought / E. Abstraction / 3. Abstracta by Ignoring
Mathematicians study what is conceptually separable, and doesn't lead to error
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
Predicates are substance, quality, place, relation, quantity and action or affection
20. Action / C. Motives for Action / 3. Acting on Reason / c. Reasons as causes
We assign the cause of someone's walking when we say why they are doing it
22. Metaethics / B. The Good / 1. Goodness / b. Types of good
Goodness is when a thing (such as a circle) is complete, and conforms with its nature
23. Ethics / C. Virtue Theory / 1. Virtue Theory / a. Nature of virtue
All moral virtue is concerned with bodily pleasure and pain
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 1. Nature
'Nature' refers to two things - form and matter
Nature is a principle of change, so we must understand change first
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 2. Natural Purpose
The nature of a thing is its end and purpose
A thing's purpose is ambiguous, and from one point of view we ourselves are ends
Nature has purpose, and aims at what is better. Is it coincidence that crops grow when it rains?
Teeth and crops are predictable, so they cannot be mere chance, but must have a purpose
26. Natural Theory / A. Heart of Nature / 3. Natural Function
Is ceasing-to-be unnatural if it happens by force, and natural otherwise?
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 1. Basis of Nature
Nothing natural is disorderly, because nature is responsible for all order
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / c. Substantival space
The universe as a whole is not anywhere
If everything has a place, this causes an infinite regress, because each place must have place
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 3. Space / d. Relational space
Place is not shape, or matter, or extension between limits; it is the limits of a body
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / a. Time
Time has parts, but the now is not one of them, and time is not composed of nows
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / e. Existence of time
If all of time has either ceased to exist, or has not yet happened, maybe time does not exist
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / i. Time and change
Time is not change, but requires change in our minds to be noticed
Time does not exist without change
Time is an aspect of change
26. Natural Theory / B. Concepts of Nature / 4. Time / j. Time as subjective
Would there be time if there were no mind?
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / b. Types of cause
A 'material' cause/explanation is the form of whatever is the source
The 'form' of a thing explains why the matter constitutes that particular thing
Causes produce a few things in their own right, and innumerable things coincidentally
26. Natural Theory / C. Causation / 1. Causation / c. Final causes
The four causes are the material, the form, the source, and the end
26. Natural Theory / D. Laws of Nature / 8. Scientific Essentialism / d. Knowing essences
Scientists must know the essential attributes of the things they study
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / a. Greek matter
Matter desires form, as female desires male, and ugliness desires beauty
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 1. Matter / e. Greek elements
When Aristotle's elements compound they are stable, so why would they ever separate?
27. Natural Reality / A. Physics / 2. Movement
Motion fulfils potentiality
If movement can arise within an animal, why can't it also arise in the universe?
When there is unnatural movement (e.g. fire going downwards) the cause is obvious
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 1. Cosmology
The heavens seem to be infinite, because we cannot imagine their end
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 2. Beginning
Do things come to be from what is, or from what is not? Both seem problematical.
27. Natural Reality / D. Cosmology / 3. Infinite in Nature
Continuity depends on infinity, because the continuous is infinitely divisible
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 2. Divine Nature
The source of all movement must be indivisible and have no magnitude